Alison Taafe attributes much of her success as a chef to the vigorous training she received at the world-famous Westminster Hotel School in London, which boasts celebrity ex-students including Jamie Oliver. As a talented 21-year-old, she was appointed to her first head chef position at JP Morgan Investments in London. From there, her career soared as she received offers from around the world including the playgrounds of the rich and famous in the United States, France and Australia. She has cooked for film and pop stars, sporting greats, heads of state and royalty including Queen Elizabeth.
After travelling the globe Alison arrived in Australia in 1988. She was appointed chef for the Australian Pavilion VIP Lounge at World Expo 88, where she met and fell in love with her husband, Steve. Together, Alison and Steve ran a successful gourmet catering business in Brisbane before Alison moved into teaching the budding chefs of the future.
These days Alison – also known as The Sassy Chef – is renowned for her trademark hot pink chef’s jacket and charismatic personality.
In 2004, Alison was the first ever chef to win a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, which took her to America for two months to conduct research into culinary arts degree programs. She then set about writing and designing the first ever graduate program for chefs in Australia, and was subsequently named Outstanding Educator for Culinary Arts by the Queensland Department of Education in 2006.
In 2008, she released her first cookbook, Fun, Fast and Fabulous Food (available on her website: AlisonTaafe.com.au), which was followed by her second cookbook Leftovers Magic.
In 2013, she released her third cookbook, Eat for your Life.
Cooking School and classes
Alison currently run two cooking schools in Brisbane.
For amateur cooks or foodies, Alison runs a culinary school which aims to educate people from basic cooking skills to more complicated dishes.
For professional cooks, private cookery college Institute of Culinary Excellence (ICE) was established by Alison in 2012. ICE sets out to equip students with the professional skills they need to become outstanding chefs, and to develop life-long careers in cookery. A number of Alison’s students have moved on to test their skills on My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef.
Alison also runs gourmet foodie adventures to far flung spots like Spain, Italy, France and Thailand, sampling top restaurants, learning to cook regional food, “foodie‟ walking tours, and visiting the best of the local markets and sights. Check out her website or Facebook site for more information on upcoming tours.
Eat for your Life Seminars and cooking classes
Alison runs regular healthy eating seminars, and cooking demonstrations from the book. Check the Events page on Alison’s website for upcoming events and booking information.